Dentistry

Dentistry is the branch of medicine that focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating medical problems of the mouth, teeth, and gums. If you brush and floss your teeth regularly and have biannual checkups, you can greatly reduce your risk of dental disease.

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A

Diseases & Conditions
Amelogenesis imperfecta
Amelogenesis imperfecta is a tooth development disorder. It causes the tooth enamel to be thin and abnormally formed. Enamel is the outer layer of teeth.

B

Symptoms
Bleeding gums
Bleeding gums can be a sign that you have or may develop gum disease. Ongoing gum bleeding may be due to plaque buildup on the teeth. It can also be a sign of a serious medical condition.

Symptoms
Breath odor
Breath odor is the scent of the air you breathe out of your mouth. Unpleasant breath odor is commonly called bad breath.

Injury
Broken or knocked out tooth
The medical term for a knocked out tooth is "avulsed" tooth.

Diseases & Conditions
Bruxism
Bruxism is when you clench (tightly hold your top and bottom teeth together) or grind (slide your teeth back and forth over each other) your teeth.

C

Diseases & Conditions
Canker sore
A canker sore is a painful, open sore in the mouth. Canker sores are white or yellow and surrounded by a bright red area. They are not cancerous. A canker sore is not the same as a fever blister (cold sore...

D

Special Topics
Dental care - adult
Tooth decay and gum disease are caused by plaque, a sticky combination of bacteria and food. Plaque begins to build up on teeth within 20 minutes after eating. If teeth are not cleaned well each day, plaque...

Special Topics
Dental care - child
Proper care of your child's teeth and gums includes brushing and rinsing daily. It also includes having routine dental exams, and getting necessary treatments such as fluoride, extractions, fillings, or...

Diseases & Conditions
Dental cavities
Dental cavities are holes (or structural damage) in the teeth.

Surgery
Dental crowns
A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that replaces your normal tooth above the gum line. You may need a crown to support a weak tooth or to make your tooth look better.

Tests
Dental plaque identification at home
Plaque is a sticky substance that collects around and between teeth. The home dental plaque identification test shows where plaque builds up. This helps you know how well you are brushing and flossing your...

Special Topics
Dental sealants
Pit and fissure sealants

Tests
Dental x-rays
Dental x-rays are a type of image of the teeth and mouth. X-rays are a form of high energy electromagnetic radiation. The x-rays penetrate the body to form an image on film. Structures that are dense (such...

Special Topics
Denture problems

Self-Care Instructions
Dry socket
Alveolar osteitis; Alveolitis; Septic socket

G

Diseases & Conditions
Gingivitis
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums.

Symptoms
Gums - swollen
Swollen gums are abnormally enlarged, bulging, or protruding.

I

Diseases & Conditions
Impacted tooth
An impacted tooth is a tooth that does not break through the gum.

M

Diseases & Conditions
Malocclusion of teeth
Malocclusion means the teeth are not aligned properly.

P

In-depth Report
Periodontal disease
An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of periodontal disease.

Diseases & Conditions
Periodontitis
Periodontitis is inflammation and infection of the ligaments and bones that support the teeth.

Special Topics
Plaque and tartar on teeth
Plaque is the sticky coating that forms on teeth from a buildup of bacteria. Tartar is hardened plaque.

R

Surgery
Root canal
A root canal is a dental procedure to remove dead or dying nerve tissue and bacteria from inside a tooth.

T

Diseases & Conditions
TMJ disorders
Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJ disorders) are problems that affect the chewing muscles and joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull.

Symptoms
Tooth - abnormal colors
Abnormal tooth color is any color other than white to yellowish-white.

Symptoms
Tooth - abnormal shape
An abnormally shaped tooth is any tooth that has an irregular shape.

Diseases & Conditions
Tooth abscess
A tooth abscess is a buildup of infected material (pus) in the center of a tooth. It is an infection caused by bacteria.

Special Topics
Tooth anatomy

Self-Care Instructions
Tooth decay - early childhood
Bottle mouth; Bottle carries; Baby bottle tooth decay; Early childhood caries (ECC)

Surgery
Tooth extraction
A tooth extraction is a procedure to remove a tooth from the gum socket. It is usually done by a general dentist, an oral surgeon, or a periodontist.

Symptoms
Tooth formation - delayed or absent
When a person's teeth grow in, they may be delayed or not occur at all.

Symptoms
Toothaches
A toothache is pain in or around a tooth.

Diseases & Conditions
Trench mouth
Trench mouth is an infection that causes swelling (inflammation) and ulcers in the gums (gingivae). The term trench mouth comes from World War I, when this infection was common among soldiers "in the trenches...

W

Symptoms
Widely spaced teeth
Widely spaced teeth can be a temporary condition related to normal growth and the development of adult teeth. Wide spacing can also occur as a result of several diseases or continued growth of the jawbone...